With its rich cultural history and numerous archaeological sights, Peru has many quality museums displaying thousands of artifacts. From the pre-Columbian societies to the the Incas and the Spanish Inquisition, these stories are all on display in the country’s fascinating museums. Here’s our pick of the best.
Learning about the Incas is a must for anyone visiting Cusco, considered “the belly button of world” by the native people. While there are other museums about the Incas in Cusco, this one is possibly the best, with a central location close to Plaza de Armas. Go back in time and experience the life of the Incas.
Museo Inka, Ataud 154, Cusco, Peru +51 084 237380
This museum has Lima’s largest collection of photography, paintings, pottery, decorations and artifacts. In addition to pre-Columbian and Colonial art, MALI also has a large collection of contemporary Peruvian art. With multiple areas to experience, plan to spend more than a couple of hours exploring the entirety of this museum.
This museum is based around the frozen mummy Juanita, a 12-year-old Inca girl sacrificed to the gods. You’ll be given a tour that begins with a video and will then be taken through the museum, looking at various Incan artifacts. The climax of the tour is seeing the Juanita, the frozen mummy.
Museo Santuarios Andions, La Merced 110, Arequipa, Peru +51 921 228 949
The best museum in the north of Peru, Museo Huacas de Moche houses the findings from one of Peru’s most fruitful archaeological sites: the tomb of the Lord of Sipán. He was an important leader in the Moche civilization, buried with ornaments, art and other treasures – so much that they had to open a museum to house it all. It is a fascinating place that is a must-visit when traveling through the area.
MATE is Barranco’s art gallery dedicated to the great Peruvian photographer Mario Testino, who hails from Lima. The gallery is the largest collection of his work with seven rooms dedicated to his intimate photographs of celebrities such as Justin Bieber, Kate Moss, Orlando Bloom and many more. A room dedicated to Testino’s photographs of Peruvians has recently been added, alongside a space dedicated to guest artists.
MATE, Av. Pedro de Osma 409, Barranco 15063, Lima, Peru +51 1 2005400